We try to pack light...we get better every time we go.
Use carry-on size suitcases...and roll-on duffel bags
Do not bring large size suitcases.
European cars are smaller...and packing the car is like a
puzzle game. Also, large cases are hard to maneuver in
train stations and buses.
Don't bring new shoes....You will just get blisters.
Bring a older pair and you will probably be willing to throw
them away at the end of the trip.
Bring your oldest underwear and socks....wash them once
during the trip...then throw them away before coming
Bring neutral colors..tans, browns, blacks and blues
Trust us... Americans don't really "blend in" wearing
yellows, pinks, and teal
Bring mostly casual clothes...if your travels include one or
two big cities...bring one nice shirt and pants
Ladies...bring one little black dress...not too dressy. Also
bring a scarf...You may need to cover your head and or
shoulders in visiting churches and mosques.
Bring layers and a windbreaker. No coats.
We even survived glacier snow in the Alps in a t-shirt, long
sleeve t-shirt, sweater and jacket in layers.
Same with pants....sweats over jeans.
Bring a bathing suit and water shoes ...
Bring the smallest, lightest weight travel umbrellas and
cheap rain poncho -can also double as a picnic blanket
We bring a duffel bag for everyone's shoes (limit of two
pairs per person) and their jackets...we put umbrellas and
rain ponchos in the outside pockets...Also holds a bathing
suit and water shoes--you never know when you might
need them. This duffle bag is all kept together and stays in
the car. No need to lug it in/out of hotels and there when
you need it.
We bring a duffel bag for a catch all....it holds the toiletries,
snacks, picnic blanket etc...on the flight over. Then
becomes the dirty laundry bag & souvenir bag.
Bring lots of ziploc bags in several sizes...you will use
them for everything!
Pack light...you never know how far you have to walk or
Before You Go
Bring Your Medicines with You
Bring prescription medicines with you--
in their labelled pill bottle.
And an assortment of over the counter
medicines...headache, upset stomach,
cold medicine, eye drops,
anti-itch cream, Benadryll
Ask your doctor for a generic antibiotic
for just in case.
|Walking the streets of London
Everyone had a carry-on size case
One duffel bag for shoes and coats
One duffel bag as catch-all.
Total of 7 small suitcases for five people
for three weeks of travel
***Even my teenage daughter can pack for
three weeks into a carry-on***
|Before you go....Plan ahead.
Again, buy the Rick Steves' travel book for
your area of planned travel. Read more at
"How We Travel"
Make copies of pages
Make notes or cheat sheets.
Make a copy of your passport to
carry in your luggage
Make a copy of your itinerary and give it to
family members or friends.
If you travel frequently, see if you have
Frequent Flyer miles to cash in, discounts
for rental cars, or have enough "points' for
free stays at the larger hotel chains.
|Film and Batteries are very
expensive in Europe.
Bring what you think you need and
We have travelled
"free-spirited" and gone without
any plans. But believe me, it is
Use a good travel book
(like Rick Steves')
Do on-line research
Check out their websites
Check out blogs and trip
advisories on the net.
Design a rough itinerary and
make hotel or B&B
reservations in advance.
Sometimes up to two months in
We have a little fold-up picnic get-up with a
small cutting board, paring knife, cheese knife,
plastic utensils, wine opener etc.
We bring a "Neat Sheet"
This blue thin sheet is water and stain repellent
We have used it everywhere.
We also buy little sacks of small trash bags and
Once we arrive, we visit the grocery store for
plates, cups, napkins, ziplocs and anything else
|Bring local currency with you so will
not need to hunt for a ATM when you
arrive or be ripped off at local
See "How We Travel" for more info
Make Sure Your Passport is Current
Also check to see if your destination
requires a Visa
Make a copy to keep in your luggage
In the event your passport is lost or stolen,
a copy will help you when you need to
contact the Local US Embassy for help
Don't be brand conscious.
You can survive on locally bought soaps,
shampoos, hair products and lotions.
They do have grocery stores in Europe
Don't bring a large bottle of your favorite
shampoo...buy plastic containers from
Walmart and bring five smaller bottles of
your favorite good stuff.
Buy sample sizes. Disposable razors
Mini Deos and Little bars of soap.
Little tubes of toothpaste
of the must have brands
Then go the local grocery when you are
there and get what you need.
It saves weight in your suitcase.
Throw away what you don't need at the end
of the trip. Sure it is wasteful..but do you
need half used lotions or shampoos...or a
nice bottle of French wine.
Do bring your favorite brand of personal
hygiene products....some of the European
brands seem archaic
Don't bring blowdryers, curling irons,
straightening irons etc...
They are heavy and probably won't work
even with a converter.
Again, if you really NEED it...buy one when
you get there.
Don't bring steam irons or travel irons.
Who cares if it is wrinkled.
You are lucky if it is clean and doesn't small
after two weeks.
|Other items to pack
Ziploc bags--small and large
A picnic blanket or Neat Sheet
Small bottles of laundry detergent concentrate
A laundry detergent stain stick
A first aid kit...with neosporin and band aids
A wine opener
Small cutting knife (sausages and cheese)
a small cutting board
Small travel size trash bags
Travel umbrella and rain poncho
|Bring a water strap.
These can be hard to find.
We love our from Disneyland.
A simple device to connect a strap
to a water bottle for easy carrying.
We bring two large bottles
whenever and wherever we go